Tuesday, March 26, 2013

White Elephants

Saturday morning my "boxman" and I ventured out to the annual Rescue Squad White Elephant sale.  Though we arrived at about 8:50 there was already a considerable line of people braving the almost freezing temperatures, waiting for the door to open at precisely 9:00.  There was no mad dash or pushing, but an orderly procession in the door, past the stacks of boxes, and into the main room lined with rows of tables covered with community cast-offs just waiting to be found as treasures yet again.  One had to look carefully both on the tables and beneath as there was much to choose from.  

The first look was at the table with glassware and the like.  I have a fondness for blue and white and therefore these three serving pieces we carefully put into the box, their purchase to be thought about as we continued our trek.  There were three dinner plates stacked along side of them, but they were chipped and since there were only three I let them sit on the table for someone else to find. 

The little blue bottle vase and the wire teapot were found next, and the bunny was in someone's hand when it caught my eye.  I found myself willing her to "put it down" though she was telling her compadre that it would be perfect for *****, then she thought twice - or fell under my spell - and put it down.  I sashayed around her and swiftly lifted it without making eye contact with the other two shoppers, and calmly kept going.  (I may paint her, or add a real fabric skirt and the teapot will most likely at some point hold a floral arrangement or perhaps an assortment of tea or candy.)

The boxman tried to follow me, diligently holding the chosen vessel for our treasure hunt whilst we both were jostled and cut off by other treasure-seeking shoppers.  There came a point when we became separated, he filtering to the front of the room, me to the back.  A glance across the room to find each other and a nod from me to tell him to stay there as I was nearly done with my perusal of the book and craft corner with no lucky find.  He looked a bit distressed just standing there, I felt I could not take more time searching for an old atlas or any book that held maps.  That would have to wait for another time.

On my way back to him I spotted the quartet of angels.  They are little pastel beauties that look quite a bit washed out as pictured in the sunlight, but they will serve as little gifties when needed.  At 50 cents each, I could not leave them overlooked on the shelf.  

My final sweep was fraught with indecision.  There were three of each of these items.  I knew in the back of my mind that I had seen both used creatively recently, but not remembering exactly in what capacity, I only picked up one of each.  I've since remembered seeing the paper tape made into paper lace using punches, but still have not figured out what to do with the rolling pin.  But they were only a quarter a piece.  

By the time I got through that area and walked back to the linen table, it had already been pretty well picked through and I had had enough of the human pinball machine we were part of so we checked out having spent a total of $6.00.   

The card at the top was made using all SU products.  The elephant is from the Patterned Occasions stamp set stamped in VersaMark on Island Indigo paper and then embossed with white EP.  The banner was stamped in Tangerine Tango on paper of the same color using the Hearts A Flutter stamp set and die.  I added Tangerine Tango and Lucky Limeade ribbons, a punched flower and a sticky jewel.  I used sellabration DSP on an Island Indigo card base.  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Welcome Spring

I was motivated this week to quickly put some little notecards together for some of my work colleagues to welcome Spring.  These little 3.5 square cards were sent along with a pack of seeds.  

The background is Daffodil Delight stamped with a stamp from SU's Creative Elements in the same color.  The sentiment is also an SU stamp from Easter Blossoms.  The egg - that was a find - came from the $1.00 stamp bin at Mike's.  I stamped the image in VersaMark and then embossed with Black EP.  Then I went to town with my markers to color them in various combinations as you can see below.  (Much easier than real Psanky eggs I'm sure!)  

The bunnies are a new Impression Obsession die I treated myself to.  Aren't they cute!  There's a third bunny in the set that's standing up that I didn't use for these cards.  

I'll be back with some little nugget holders and our White Elephant purchases soon!  Hope you're having a great weekend.  We have sun, but it's still cold here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St. Patrick's Day and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party

You can see that my poor oxalis (shamrock) plant has a wee bit of a sunburn.  I've moved it to what should be a safer location now.  It's two years old and has continually sent out blooms.  What a pleasant surprise.  I had my shamrock shake and shamrock pretzel Sunday also.  Yum!  And I tried a new recipe, which is not Irish, but I justified it as having potatoes in it - Pierogi Lasagna.  It turned out to be quite tasty.  I used a little less onions and a little more cheese than was prescribed. HWNSNBP added marinara sauce to his portion, but I liked it without.  I think I will hold out one onion, slice it, and brown it in butter the next time for a topping.  I do not usually eat my pierogis with sour cream, but my mother, brothers and sister do and I wonder how that would add to the whole dish?  I guess I'll have to send them some leftovers next time.  

Friday night, two of my good friends and I attended the "Mad Hatter's Candlelit Tea Party" at my favorite tea room - Teaberry's.  The rooms and tables were all decorated with an "Alice In Wonderland" theme.   This was our table.  The water glasses came with pink flamingo straws.  The sugar cubes had little red hearts on some of them.  There was a crown in the center and playing cards scattered about.  There also was a little ceramic white bunny on the table.

We started with the Queen's Sparkling Rose Nectar Aperitif with a butterfly skewered raspberry.  (I had ginger ale as I am allergic to roses.)  That was followed by a choice of soups served in a teacup - I chose the Caterpillar's Mushroom Artichoke - "smokin'!"

Then we had the Duchess's Shrinking Berry Spinach Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing.  (All of the chairs had a large playing card taped to the back of them.)

Then we were served our tea sandwiches.  Tweedle Dee's were an onion sandwich, puff pastry veggie pinwheel, and one with portabella, bleu cheese & roasted tomato.  Tweedle Dum's were mini crab quiches, roast turkey with avocado, and a delicious pineapple cream cheese and carrot jam on date nut bread.  (Each place setting included, tied up with a bow, our napkin, a copy of the menu, a package of Alice in Wonderland themed stickers, and tiny tin of Alice's Enchantmints.)

The next course was the Cheshire Cat's Curious Scones.  I believe mine was a praline scone.  Provided for/with the scones was the traditional clotted cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam.  Delicious! (Some decorations from the sideboard to follow.)

Our final course was The Mad Hatter's Wondrous Tipsy Trifle - a chocolate, cherry concoction.

We each had our choice of tea served in our very own pot, complete with cozy.

And our evening there included a visit by a wonderful actress who came as "Alice" - the woman, who as a child inspired the Alice stories written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson - aka Lewis Carroll. She regaled us with the story of the friendship her family had with Mr. D, as they called him, his life, and a bit about the times.  She disproved the stories of his drug induced writing, and educated us about his interest in photography and how that was accomplished during that era.  She was very informative and entertaining, and as I was with such agreeable company, it was an exceptional evening.

Sunday morning at the condo - the water has receded but flooding from the past nor'easter has deposited more debris on the edges of the marsh bordering the property.  I'm afraid this will happen every time there is some flooding for a while as there is a lot of debris still visible in the reeds.

I am trying to get myself motivated in the stamp cave.  The last few months have found me struggling to find the energy to be creative.  Hopefully, now that the days are getting longer, I can turn that into some productive creating and will have more to share here in that respect.  Thanks to those of you who have kept visiting despite the long breaks.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

With Sympathy to LQ

Rachel's housemate's mother suddenly passed away this week.  The girls are all taking it very hard as she was a young 52 and this was very unexpected.  

I used a soft celery green for the card base and the Memory Box Orchard Tree Frame Die in white.  I sponged some celery around the edges and stamped the sentiment from Thanks for Caring in VersaMark and clear EP.  The butterfly was created in Pink Pirouette using the butterfly embosslit.

This picture was done last minute at work under terrible lighting as I wanted to get it in the mail as soon as possible.  I've forgotten to take pictures of the last couple of cards that I've made and I didn't want to do that again.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More Pigs Came Flying In

These came from North Carolina and my blogging friend Dawn.  I love them all.  And, I'm a little envious.  Not only is she a master stamping artist, she is mastering her Silhouette and has shared all these lovely little piggies and wings with me.  

She also sent me this sweet little iron flying piggy bank.  I am so touched.

Thanks Dawn.  What an unexpected treat.  You are too kind to me.  

Now HWNSNBP...... about that Silhouette....... you know what's coming!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February Wrap-Up

As I did in January, I kept up every day with a new tangle or zentangle string pattern.  Just so it's clear, these are not patterns that I have created, they are patterns that have been created by others who have published the steps to recreate them.  They provide step-out instructions and in some cases I have done the basic tangle, in other cases I have done that and variations.  I have indicated under the date in each block the name of the tangle and the name of the creator.  

At the beginning and end of each month I have been attempting to also include an inspirational quote.  

Speaking of beginnings, at the beginning of this week I went to a "Soup Tasting" with a couple good friends.

It was sponsored by the Hunterdon County Rotary and all the proceeds were to go to the food banks.  

There were 20 local restaurants that participated which meant a possible 20 tastes of soup approximately equal to one ladle full or about 1/3 a cup I would estimate.

I tasted 14 of the 20, staying away from those with seafood just in case I really do have a shellfish allergy (long story for another time). 

The winning soup was a tasty Italian Wedding Soup.  Second place went to a yummy Creamy Wild Mushroom.  And the judges pick was a delicious Apple Wood Smoked Bacon Potato & Corn Chowder.  My vote went to the Country Ham and Three Bean soup.

As you can see from this picture, this amaryllis is parked on the floor and has grown taller than any amaryllis we've ever had.  Two stalks produced 9 total blooms.

This is it visible from outside.

And while we're on the outside, Rachel gave us this new bird feeder that sticks onto a window with pretty strong suction cups.  We put it right outside the kitchen window over the sink and in no time we had a visitor.

The Titmice are the daring ones.  They've come to the feeder with me standing on the other side, but the pictures I had to take from the middle of the room because the camera lens really spooked them up close.  

I still have to post the "headboard" project from February.  Until then, I'm very glad that the days are getting noticeably longer.  Daylight Saving Time will resume next weekend and that should help tremendously with everyone's outlook.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy (Flying) Pig Day

Believe in the impossible.  

That is the message of today.  

This flying pig watering can came all the way from New Zealand from Sunshine.  She also made the cute flying pig ornament below.  Thank you Sunshine.  I love the watering can and your ornament is beautiful with all that sparkle and those hearts encircling her and will hang alongside my other paper pig ornaments at school.  (I've already gotten several compliments!)

This beautiful card came flying across the Atlantic from Ireland and my blogging buddy Sabrina.  I wish you could see this in person because the picture doesn't do it justice.  It's wonderfully colored and the silver lining on the clouds, along with the beautiful sentiment just take my breath away.  

I found some of these tin mailboxes in a closet and came across these solar powered flying pigs just after Christmas.  I wish I had bought all of them to share with all my "pig ladies".  Those that I did have I posted off to my "Pigs on Parade" participants.  Hopefully they found their way to them by today, but if not, the message of the flying pig will carry on.

And to my "Pig Ladies" I was able to send these little 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 notes.  The pigs look like they're metal but they're really two separate elements - Dresdens that I found in a new art shop down the shore.  I wish I had bought more because my list of "Pig Ladies" grows with each year.  

If you'd like to read more about my Flying Pig Day's you can check these links: